Gunmen Kill American Aid Worker in NW Pakistan
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Nov. 12 -- An American aid worker and his driver were shot dead Wednesday in a neighborhood favored by diplomats in the city of Peshawar, the latest sign of deteriorating security in northwestern Pakistan near the Afghan border.
The shooting deaths came a day after at least three people were killed and 17 injured in a suicide car bombing at a stadium in Peshawar. Earlier this week, Taliban insurgents hijacked a convoy of 13 NATO supply trucks in the region.
In the latest incident, the aid worker was coming out of his home when attackers opened fire on him and the driver, a senior police official told the Reuters news service.
The official, who requested anonymity, said the American was working on aid projects for tribal areas.
The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad confirmed the deaths but would not identify the victims.
On Tuesday, a car full of explosives was detonated moments after top provincial officials had passed through the gate of the stadium, where hundreds of people were gathered for the final ceremony of a three-day sports competition for Pakistani athletes, said Mian Iftikhar Hussain, a spokesman for the provincial government.
A spectator who was exiting the gates when the blast occurred said debris and bodies were scattered across the stadium's main parking lot. "The explosion was so loud that I fell on the ground and lost consciousness for a moment," Kareem Khan said. "When I stood up, I saw a couple of damaged cars with broken windscreens."
Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani condemned the violence, saying such attacks imperil stability in the region and threaten the country's increasingly fragile economy.
The raid Monday of NATO supply trucks occurred in the Khyber tribal region near Peshawar as they were en route to troops in Afghanistan.
The fighters raided the convoy as it approached the town of Jamrud, about three miles east of the border. The fighters made off with millions of dollars in sophisticated military equipment, including armored Humvees. They later posed for photos next to the Humvees, which were draped with flags of the Pakistani Taliban.
Pakistani security officials said Tuesday that they were working to recover the trucks.
Attacks on NATO supply convoys in Pakistan have increased this year as the Taliban has gained strength in the northwest. Insurgents have seized at least 24 trucks in the Khyber area in the past two months, according to news reports.